Emmys 2020: Dan Levy, Sterling K. Brown and More Stars React to Their Nominations

The 2020 Emmy Award nominations have officially been announced and these stars have a major reason to celebrate today.

By Samantha Schnurr Jul 28, 2020 5:00 PMTags
Watch: 2020 Emmy Nominations for Drama Actor, Actress & Series

For TV stars, does it get any better than hearing your name called as an Emmy nominee?

That milestone moment came for many actors and actresses on Tuesday morning as fellow famous faces Leslie JonesLaverne Cox, Josh Gad and Tatiana Maslany unveiled the list of 2020 Emmy nominations.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the celebrity presenters were not able to follow tradition and come together to announce the names in person, but instead joined each other virtually via a remote livestream. 

While the setup looked a bit different from years past, Television Academy Chairman and CEO Frank Scherma kicked off the announcement with a comforting reminder of TV's enduring power even in hard times. 

"As we persevere through the thick of a pandemic, the scale of which we have not seen in a century, television is right there with us, informing us, educating us and yet still managing to entertain us," Scherma said. 

And, as evidenced by the nominees' reactions on Tuesday, television is also giving many performers—from first-time Emmy nominees to Hollywood veterans—a reason to celebrate today.

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2020 Emmy Predictions, Hopes, and Dreams

Share in the joy and read the nominees' reactions in E!'s gallery below!

Betty Gilpin, Glow

"To the Television Academy—how dare you. I really can't stress enough how much of a threat this nomination is to my current quarantine brand of pasta and sad. In the Time Before, being born with a healthy protective emotional wall missing meant I got to channel that into pretend time in exchange for health insurance and claps. Until today, apparently here in the apocalypse, these skills were about as meaningful as a worm's hymn in a canyon. I'd like to thank the cast and crew, and the Academy, and seasonal depression, and honestly Nathan Lane, and before this nomination phoenixes me out of mediocrity and I explode into ribbons just real quick the cops who killed Breonna Taylor still have not been arrested."

Jennifer Aniston, The Morning Show

"What a morning waking up to this news! I am so proud of my @themorningshow family. This team worked so, so hard to make the best show we possibly could, and I am truly honored to be a part of it. Thanks for this acknowledgment and congratulations to EVERYONE. Now, I'm just gonna have to figure out what MASK I'M GONNA WEAR."

Zendaya, Euphoria

"I'm honestly speechless, my heart is just overflowing with love and gratitude. I'm so incredibly honored to work beside the talented people that I get to call family. I am a small piece of a big beautiful puzzle and I'm so proud of all of you. Thank you to everyone out there who's watched and given our show life, thank you @samlev00 @hbo @a24 for everything and @televisionacad for this beautiful acknowledgment, thank you, thank you, thank you. We out here Emmy nominated y'all!!"

Anthony Anderson, black-ish

"I am honored to be nominated for an Emmy for the 6th year in a row alongside my talented co-star Tracee Ellis Ross and the costume department and hair team. We are proud of the stories we have been able to tell on black-ish and given the current climate in which we all live, our voices need to be amplified. I'd like to thank ABC for renewing our show for a full season and for keeping us on the fall line up. I also want to congratulate Live In Front Of A Studio Audience: All In the Family and Good Times for their nominations. It was a thrill to work again with that cast and crew in particular the great Norman Lear and my friend Jimmy Kimmel!"

Samira Wiley, The Handmaid's Tale

"During these very uncertain times it is moving to be reminded of the impact of telling stories about such brave and fearless women. And to be in the company of such talented women is a great honor. Thank you to Hulu, MGM and the cast and crew."

Tracey Ullman,Mrs. America

"Bring a part of Mrs. America was a fantastic experience. I so wanted to work with this incredible group of people, that I went out and fought for this role. As Betty Friedan said, 'No woman gets an orgasm from shining the kitchen floor.' The Academy's recognition of my portrayal is thrilling, bordering on orgasmic. Thank you."

Margo Martindale, Mrs. America

"Thank you, Television Academy, for honoring my work in Mrs. America. What a thrill! It is a joy to be in the company of these incredible women. And it was an honor and education to play Bella Abzug – what a smart, powerful woman. I'm indebted to our great writers, directors and fantastic cast – and all those sensational hats! I'm so happy! Yippee!"

Jeremy Pope, Hollywood

"Thank you to the Television Academy, my entire Hollywood family, and to Ryan Murphy for giving me my television debut. My heart is full. I'm proud to see so many Black artists nominated this year. It gives me hope that systemic change in our entertainment industry is not only possible, it's imminent. As an artist, it takes a lot of faith to trust that there is space for the stories I want to tell and that the dreams in my heart are tangible. Today was a reminder that seeing is believing and everything is possible."

Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness

"Thank you to the Television Academy. It is a huge honor to be nominated amongst such great documentaries. And many thanks to our amazing team!"

Holland Taylor, Hollywood

"If a role is a blue print for what we do, I have to say it's Ellen Kincaid who possessed the big goodwill for all, the big heart and the Moxie, as Ryan Murphy would put it, to capture the special feeling that would earn this nomination. So I'm grateful SHE is who I got to play. In this once in a century moment, goodwill is our real wealth. And in this year's bountiful crop of great performances, it's a real feather in my cap to be included in this notice from the Academy, who have often been good to me. Hollywood's designers, writers, directors and my fellow actors were all in an excited top gear this season and it shows. Certainly a glowing highlight of my career that came as a gift."

Toni Collette, Unbelievable
"I've been acting for thirty years now. I love telling all kinds of stories about all kinds of people. It still excites me to get up at three, four or five am to go hunt out obscure parking lots where we set up a whole new world each day. But working on something like Unbelievable makes it all the sweeter. I am so proud to be part of a ridiculously talented team telling a story that really matters. It has been a thrill for all of us knowing that this story has resonated far and wide with both women and men all around the globe. And so, I'm truly over the moon to be nominated. We must celebrate all that we can in this unstable time of real struggle."
Bette Midler, The Politician

"What a wonderful surprise! I had a great time on this episode, and this nomination is the icing on what was an already delicious cake. Thanks you, Academy, too, for nominating me in a category with some of the greatest comediennes alive. What company!"

Octavia Spencer, Self Made
"This is my first individual Emmy nomination and I am humbled and grateful to the Television Academy for this incredible honor and for recognizing the importance of this story. Today, more than ever, we all have a responsibility to enlighten, educate and entertain an audience and it was a privilege for me personally to portray Madam CJ Walker, someone who resonated so deeply with me on every level. Thank you to Netflix, Springhill, Warner Bros. Television and Wonder Street Entertainment for being such great partners on this passion project."
 
David Collins and Jennifer Lane, Queer Eye

"We are beyond excited, humbled and proud to receive these seven Emmy nominations for Queer Eye, and couldn't be happier that the Fab Five have been recognized in the Outstanding Host category! We set out to bridge divides with empathy and joy and the recognition of that work by fans across the globe and the Academy is truly rewarding. Thank you!"


Jon Favreau, The Mandalorian

"It's so exciting to see the nominations knowing how hard the entire team worked to bring The Mandalorian and the Child to life. I'm just so happy for everyone involved. There are so many great stories to tell in the galaxy far, far away. The nominations for The Mandalorian and Star Wars Resistance prove what the fans already know. Star Wars is forever. Congratulations to everyone, may the Force be with you."

Bradley Whitford, The Handmaid's Tale

"I'm so grateful to the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, to everyone on The Handmaid's Tale team here and in Toronto, and especially to the heart and soul of the operation, Lizzie Moss. I can't wait for the day when we can all get back to the joyous, difficult work of telling stories together. In the meantime, in the name of all that is holy, please make sure you are registered to vote on November 3rd. Check your status today at vote.org. Stay safe."

Billy Crudup, The Morning Show

"I am incredibly proud and grateful to collaborate on this show with all the talent and support you could imagine and to be nominated by the academy alongside so many actors that I esteem is a real privilege."

Gail Simmons, Top Chef

"This season was particularly meaningful to all of us — from producers to chefs and judges to our incredible crew — not only because it was All Stars and allowed us to showcase such an extraordinary level of talent, creativity and diversity by our returning chefs, but in the midst of a pandemic that has challenged the restaurant industry physically, emotionally and economically on so many levels, Top Chef Season 17 provided a moment of hope, comfort, triumph and solidarity, for us and our viewers alike. It aired as a weekly reminder to support and take care of each other, share our cultures and our tables, and be true to ourselves. I'm immensely proud of this season and grateful to be part a show that has proven its ability for innovation, entertainment and integrity, year over year over year."

Tom Colicchio, Top Chef

"After 18 years the show is still going strong and it's always special that our peers in the academy continue to recognize our contribution to great TV."

Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

"I was in the middle of a weekly zoom cooking class with people from all over the globe, including my father who doesn't actually cook anything, he just gets a kick out of watching his daughter and granddaughter make a mess in the kitchen. We were making a cheesecake, which requires the exact weight of a toddler in cream cheese , in case you were wondering. Right as we were crushing cookies to make the crust, my father let out a yelp. Thought maybe he'd accidentally sat upon his sack, but no, it was a Google Alert! Glowing, he proudly announced that I'd been nominated for an Emmy. While I am delighted and thrilled to be nominated (and in such good company) I must admit that the greatest part about it is seeing my 85-year old father, weary from Covid-captivity, smiling and happy and hopeful. Thank you to everyone who nominated me, it's the only gift I could give my parents that they won't return."

Linda Cardellini, Dead to Me

"I am thrilled and humbled to be nominated this morning with all of these incredible women whom I admire so much. Especially my dear friend and partner in crime Christina Applegate. You're my person. I feel so fortunate to collaborate everyday with all of the incredible women who run this show. Liz Feldman, thank you for your genius and for giving life to 'Jen and Judy.' What a wild ride. This show is truly a team effort and I am so grateful to everyone involved. Especially our hardworking cast and crew. This is a celebration of everyone's work today. Love and congrats to all."

Andrew Scott, Black Mirror

"I had such a great time playing this extraordinary part in Black Mirror. Thank you so much to the Television Academy for honouring me in this way, and to Damson, Topher, Charlie, Annabel, James and the gang for being such brilliant collaborators."

Nicholas Braun, Succession

"What an amazing day, I am so excited for my whole Succession family! Playing Greg is so damn fun, and I'm deeply thankful and honored to be recognized for it. I'm going to drink a rosé that is 'not my favorite' to celebrate!"

Stephan James, #FreeRayshawn

"I am incredibly honored to be recognized by the Emmys this morning for a project I'm not only proud of, but one that is so necessary and important in these trying times. Congrats to the rest of the cast and crew of #FreeRayshawn and congrats to Quibi and Sony TV!"

Laurence Fishburne, #FreeRayshawn

"It's a great honor to be nominated along with my fellow cast members Stephan and Jasmine. Given the current focus on police reform in our country, I find #FreeRayshawn to be very timely and thought provoking. It is both an entertaining and important series and my gratitude goes out to Antoine Fuqua, Seith Mann and the team at Quibi and Sony Television for supporting it from start to finish. "

Uzo Aduba, Mrs. America

"I am grateful to be nominated for my work in Mrs. America, and for the life of someone as remarkable as Shirley Chisholm to have been seen. This spot of sunshine, during a time of unequal measure, means so much today, and to share the nomination with my fellow cast mates is just icing on an already well frosted cake. Thank you, Academy!" 

Giancarlo Esposito, The Mandalorian

"I am completely blown away as I wasn't aware nominations were being announced today. This double nomination for Better Call Saul and The Mandalorian comes as the most delightful, overwhelming surprise. I am honored to be recognized by the Television Academy, and want to give thanks to my Better Call Saul and The Mandalorian families whose tireless work I am continually in awe of. I am in gratitude for this incredible honoring."

Ron Cephas Jones, This Is Us

"What a humbling feeling to be recognized by the academy once again for my work on This Is Us. It's been a privilege to work with this talented cast and crew. This show is one that keeps on giving and I'm forever grateful to be a part of it. Big congrats to my on-screen son, Sterling K. Brown and Phylicia Rashad on their nominations."

Pharrell Williams, The Black Godfather

"It's an honor to share the legend of Clarence Avant, a man who has never stopped fighting for social justice in entertainment, athletics and politics. His impact on culture connects us all. Thank you to the TV Academy and thank you to the incredible Nicole Avant, Reginald Hudlin and Netflix for sharing the story of The Black Godfather."

Jim Parsons, Hollywood

"Well, this is a really sweet surprise in the middle of a really weird time in the world - thank you to the Television Academy! I'm very moved to be listed alongside such talented actors, and am eternally grateful that Ryan Murphy gave me the chance to be a part of HOLLYWOOD and to work with such an immensely gifted group of people - the whole experience was about as good as it gets and I know how fortunate I was to have taken this journey."

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View More Photos From Emmys 2020: Stars React to Their Nominations

For more reactions from this year's Emmy nominees, click here!

Watch Live From E!: Emmys 2020 on Monday Sept. 21 from 8am AEST on E!, Channel 125 on Foxtel and 106 on Fetch! Tune in for the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards afterwards in Australia on Foxtel's Fox Arena at 10am AEST.